March 16, 2014 4:59pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars' Gang on Ali's Homecoming, 'Ravenswood' Wrap-Up and Caleb's Return
To find out what happened on the Pretty Little Liars season-four finale, go here.
[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]
Ahead of the season-four finale, the Pretty Little Liars stars and creative team took some time on a Sunday afternoon to revisit the past and look ahead to the future on day four of PaleyFest.
With production kicking into gear on the fifth season in just a little over a week, stars Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, Ian Harding, Sasha Pieterse, Janel Parrish and Keegan Allen reunited with executive producers Marlene King, Oliver Goldstick and Joseph Dougherty in front of an enthusiastic (and female-skewed) crowd at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. They had reason to celebrate: Pretty Little Liars marked the first ABC Family show to be honored as part of PaleyFest.
The secrets and teases were kept to a minimum (the Pretty Little Liars team is well-known for being coy), though the 2,000-strong attendees opting for a laughter-filled 90-minute conversation in an air-conditioned room instead of braving the summer-like weather outside ate up every second -- with the loudest cheers reserved for any mention of the shirtless men on the show and the show's many (and there are many) romances.
When the panelists did get around to discussing Tuesday's season finale, wherein the resurrected Alison details exactly (or maybe not?) what happened the night of her disappearance, and the fast-approaching season five (Caleb's back!), that's when things got really interesting. The Hollywood Reporter shares the highlights.
Welcome back, Alison DiLaurentis -- or not: King has hinted that season five, which begins filming shortly after the finale airs, will follow Alison's reintegration, of sorts, into the world she left all those years ago. Because of that, the core group of four becomes a core group of five. "The dynamic is going to change," Pieterse said. "She's now the victim and I feel like when it was the five of them, Alison would have them under her thumb. And then it became the four of them." Because of Alison's time away, naturally there will be some tension between the girls simply because they don't know who she really is. "Alison's totally changed. They don't know anything about what she's been through yet," the actress said. "Welcoming her back is going to be harder than it should be."
The Liars are affected by Alison's homecoming in varied ways: King said that Alison's return affects the four Liars for obvious reasons, but it also has effects on their relationships with their significant others -- male and female. "Season five is shaping up to be emotionally the most complex season we've had so far," she said. Goldstick told THR earlier on the red carpet that the girls, more so in the new season, "are in a permanent state of flinch."
Ezra's dark arc: Harding knew that Ezra would take a more dangerous turn in season four since last February and had suspicions that from the onset there had to be something else going on. "I always thought, 'There's something else here though,' " he said, before King explained Ezra's reason for being shady (writing a book before inadvertently falling in love with Aria). "It was a joy to be a little nasty," Harding said.
More trouble for "Ezria": Fans of Ezra and Aria, brace yourselves. "There's a shocking 'Ezria' twist" in Tuesday's season finale, King hinted.
Caleb's Rosewood return: ABC Family announced March 12 that Tyler Blackburn, who had moved from Pretty Little Liars to the short-lived Ravenswood spinoff (and was not present at the panel), would be back on the mother ship full time. But the release vaguely said "early" in the fifth season. King told THR on the carpet that Blackburn's first episode back will be in the 100th, which is the new season's fifth. But with Hanna's love life already complicated enough with Travis and Detective Holbrook, how does Caleb get into the action? "She's got choices! Give her options!" Goldstick said.
Ravenswood tie-up on Pretty Little Liars? When ABC Family canceled the low-rated spinoff earlier this month, questions loomed about various storylines. When asked whether there could be a chance for a wrap-up to the Ravenswood story, Dougherty offered this: "We're going to try in as satisfactory a way as possible. We knew where we were going but they [ABC Family] just told us to get off the train."
The chances of a movie: There are constant conversations about doing a movie; how serious those discussions are remain to be seen. "We talk about it all the time," she said. "I'd love to write it and direct it."
A Pretty Little Liars musical? While the producers weren't exactly shooting down the idea, they weren't incredibly forthcoming about the idea either. "Reality is, producing it takes a long [time] because of going into the studio, recording," Goldstick said. "But it's not impossible."
Pretty Little Liars wraps season four March 18 on ABC Family, before returning June 10 for season five. Check back Tuesday morning for a more detailed season-four finale preview.